Since being officially classified as a neurotoxin, parents are growing more concerned about their children’s fluoride consumption – and rightfully so. In 2013, a Harvard University study funded by the National Institute of Health concluded that children exposed to high levels of fluoridated water showed significantly lower IQ scores than those residing in less fluoridated areas.
“The results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults,” said the Harvard researchers. “In conclusion, our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.”
Fluoride Consumption and Adolescents
Based on the investigation, fluoride is particularly toxic for growing children. Aside from cognitive impairment, excessive fluoride consumption causes fluorosis. Referred to as “motted enamel,” fluorosis leads to hypo mineralization of the tooth enamel. In mild cases, fluorosis appears as small, opaque, irregular white spotting around the surface of teeth. More serious cases show brown staining, large pitting and serious dental damage. Unfortunately, this condition is extremely common, affecting approximately 41 percent of children ages 12 through 15. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services admitted that fluoride may harm teeth and the public water content should be reduced by 30 percent. Yet, the recommended threshold for public safety has not been met.
The damaging effects of fluoride consumption don’t end there. Fluoride consumption has been linked to neurological dysfunction, ADHD, thyroid dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease in patients of all ages.
Despite these serious contentions against the use of fluoride from highly accredited research organizations, major health entities continue to push a narrative publicizing fluoride as a vital component in proper dental care – particularly in growing children. Large corporations publicize fluoride as being the primary driver behind declining tooth decay rates as an excuse to put fluoride in their products. However, data shows that most western countries saw a decline in tooth decay over the past few decades, irrespective of their fluoridation stance. Per the World Health Organization (WHO), non-fluoridated countries such as Iceland, Italy, Japan and Belgium have displayed sizable decreases of decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT). These declines are comparable to fluoridated nations such as the United States and Ireland.
Tips for Minimizing Fluoride Consumption
Adopting a firm anti-fluoride position is vital for protecting the well-being of both you and your children. Follow these tips to get started on removing the neurotoxin from your everyday life:
- Switch to fluoride-free dental practitioners who use healthy, biocompatible ingredients.
- If you need to visit a non-holistic dentist, decline any fluoride treatments – do not feel pressured by baseless claims.
- Invest in a water filter that specifically removes fluoride. Filters that use reverse osmosis, deionizers and activated alumina effectively remove up to 90 percent of fluoride in tap water. Major water filter brands like Brita and Pur do not remove fluoride.
- If you drink spring water, check for the fluoride content. Ideally, aim for less than 0.1 ppm. You can call the water company directly to confirm the levels. In any case, make an effort to limit your plastic bottle consumption when possible.
- Discard or recycle your Teflon cookware. The popular non-stick material is made of a fluorinated chemical that releases into boiling water and meals. To avoid sticking, coat stainless steel pans with a low-fat oil. Or, purchase ceramic cookware which offers nonstick benefits without the chemicals and added calories.
- Opt for fluoride-free toothpaste or make your own formula using baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint oil.
Living Fluoride-Free in Miami
Although you may not be able to control the fluoride in your local tap water, you can limit your fluoride consumption. Dr. Ted Herrmann of Assure A Smile offers over 20 years of experience as a holistic dentist, commanding numerous fluoride awareness campaigns to help children and adults in the Miami community and beyond. If you’re interested in learning more about fluoride and children while minimizing your family’s health risks, schedule an appointment online or call our office at 305-274-0047.